Kategorie-Archiv: Travel Tales

train

Transrapid in Shanghai

For a business meeting in Nanjing on Monday, the travel agency felt the most economical way to travel would be to leave Toronto on Thursday and eventually reach Nanjing via Vancouver, Shanghai and then a local train to Nanjing.

After a lengthy flight from Vancouver and a lengthy experience at Chinese immigration (very friendly, also quickly processed, just the waiting time was crazy), we were to head from the airport to Shanghai train station.

We could either have taken a cab, a bus, the metro OR:

The Maglev High-Speed Train connecting Shanghai airport to…

Nothing, really…

It runs along a 30km track to the suburbs of Pudong, from where you can either take a cab, a bus, or the metro to Shanghai train station. So pretty much the same options you had before going sub-sonic…

A maglev leaves every 15 minutes and takes about 8 minutes or less to complete the journey. They state top speeds of around 431 km/h (depending on time of day), and it costs about 50 Yuan for a single trip ticket. It is fun to look out the window and then check your speed on the ticker:

train

As you can see, I feel like I didn’t get the full value of the ticket given the 1 km/h lower-than-max-speed we saw. To be fair, 431 did flash up briefly, but not long enough to take a picture…

I rate this as an experience well worth having (50 Yuan is about $8).

 

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Luxembourg City

Musical Chairs in Luxembourg

I’ve been driving around for meetings in the BeLux part of BeNeLux, introducing a colleague to clients. I hadn’t been in Luxembourg for two years so we figured a dinner in the old City would be a good idea.

The restaurant my colleague remembered didn’t exist anymore, so after careful consideration (that would be me randomly pointing at a restaurant that had outside seating), we chose Mexican. When in Rome…

There were already a lot of people milling about the City Square behind us, and it only got fuller. Turns out a full orchestra had been booked to play that evening and they started off with Darth Vader’s Theme (The Imperial March).

The perfect European experience – Mexican food in an ancient setting in Luxembourg listening to live Star Wars music. What’s the rest of the world doing?

 

IMG00609-20120607-2137a Luxembourg City

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Porta Nigra

Touring Trier

I have a morning meeting in Luxembourg, but the hotels in (close by) Germany are a) less expensive and b) gives me a chance to see Trier again – if only the down town area.

Last time I was here (as a kid), I got to explore all the former Roman structures, including an awesome amphitheater.  This time the dinner meeting with a colleague gave me about 45 minutes to walk around the Porta Nigra and then head over to the town square. The Porta Nigra is a massive ancient Roman gate – I believe the largest of its kind this side of the Alps.

 

IMG00605-20120606-2120 Porta Nigra

 

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Adler Mannheim

Hamburg Hockey

Another weekend in Hamburg and another opportunity to go to a hockey game.

The Hamburg Freezers of  the German (Premiere) League were facing the Adler Mannheim in the playoffs. During warm-up, I saw two of the Mannheim players chatting on the sidelines and then realized their names. Of course, their names are each missing a letter, but it’s still pretty close.

My ancestry’s lineage includes Ahrendt and Klink, but Arendt and Kink are almost there…

 

Adler Mannheim

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Wishing Tree

Back in Nanjing

A two-day conference in Nanjing has me back in town, along with a colleague who is originally from the area.

Only this time I came in with a full day to spare (Sunday, but I’ll take it). That gave us the opportunity to check out Confucius Temple and area, i.e. the Wishing Tree. Apparently you make a wish, write it down on a strip of red paper(ish) and throw it into the tree. The higher you position it, the better, so to weigh it down (and I guess ‘pay’ for the wish), you tie a coin to the strip.

We also found a local restaurant in the area and had some good hot pot, which included a number of ingredients that I didn’t really recognize (but were good). As usual, English didn’t get me very far, so my colleague got to choose.

 

IMG00479-20120307-1507 IMG00475-20120307-1501 IMG00491-20120307-1651 IMG00469-20120307-1316 Nanjing

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